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Our Camera Got Lifted By Lyft + How to Contact Lyft Lost and Found

Let me start off by saying that ultimately we made the mistake of leaving our camera in a Lyft. That part was completely our fault, or none of this would have happened.

How Our Camera Got Lifted by Lyft.
insert photo herePin

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Last Updated: August 30, 2023

How We Lost Our Camera on a Lyft Ride

But the fact is we left it, and this was our experience.

On Saturday, August 22, 2015, we were in NYC and took a Lyft from a hotel in the Flat Iron District to another in Chelsea. We arrived at 1:39 PM and in the busyness of grabbing all of our stuff, we left our Canon 5D Mark III with the 35mm 1.4 lenses in the back seat behind the driver.

Right after we realized we left it in the cab, within 10-15 minutes of getting out, we started trying to contact the driver through the ‘Lose Something?’ button on the receipt. According to their landing page, 85% of drivers reach out within an hour.

This was one of the longest hours we’ve experienced. Not only is the camera extremely expensive ($4K+ to give you an idea), but we also hadn’t backed up the photos we needed from our work. Esther was sobbing. I was sick to my stomach, meanwhile trying to figure out what to do next.

Within that time, I started contacting the @AskLyft Twitter handle in hopes of getting more support or to see if they could call the driver sooner. They told me to fill out the online form for their support team, but it was not a high priority for them, and we were not sure when they would get around to it as I’m sure they get plenty of requests like ours.

Esther also tweeted them, and thanks to a friend with a bigger social media following who retweeted it, many more eyes were on it. That’s when Lyft decided to reach back out to us directly.

How Our Camera Got Lifted By Lyft.

At least on Twitter, they seemed like they were going to try to help us out. Finally, after another 45 minutes, we received a reply to my initial inquiry online. After gathering the information they needed, they said that they would contact the driver directly. Things were looking up.

After almost 2 hours of trying to keep ourselves busy, I checked in with them. Still no word. I received a reply 40 minutes later telling us that they’d been trying to call the driver and he didn’t pick up. They also left him a voicemail.

How Our Camera Got Lifted By Lyft.Pin

I still wanted to have hope… hope that something may have happened to the driver’s phone or that an emergency came up. Why else would he not have replied yet? If a passenger had taken it, he would have surely looked by now and told us that he couldn’t find it. Esther was much more skeptical and was convinced the driver had already pawned it off.

At 8:39 PM, I finally got a reply:

How Our Camera Got Lifted By Lyft.

This is when it hit me. The camera, lens, and photos are gone. It is a sickening feeling and we both kept running through all the things we could have done to prevent this.

I did clarify with Lyft and several other Lyft drivers that our initial messages instantly go through to drivers via the app. The driver also uses this app to pick up other customers, which he said had plenty of after he dropped us off. Within a window of 10-15 minutes, I doubt he had more than one ride or maybe would have been mid-ride.

When it comes down to it, we still don’t know what happened.

This isn’t a win for humanity. As a photographer, Esther’s photos are really important to her… they are almost like her children. Losing them was brutal, but we’re trying to remember that we shouldn’t hold on so tightly to our possessions.

If you’re in NYC and happen to get a Lyft driver by the name of Uttam that looks like the photo below, ask him about our camera!

How Our Camera Got Lifted By Lyft.Pin

Also, if you happen to walk past a Pawn shop and have a minute, we would be ever so grateful if you were to drop in and see if they have either of these items:

Canon 5D Mark III Serial #022021002868
Canon 35mm 1.4 Serial #00114040

If they do, please let me know so I can report it to the police as stolen.

How to Contact Lyft

opefully you never have to deal with this, but if you lose anything on Lyft or left something behind, here are ways to get in touch with them.

  • Start by Contacting the Driver: You can do this through the Lyft app or a link in your email receipt. You’ll see an option to call or send a message to your driver and these options will be available up to 24 hours after your ride ends. Personal contact info is hidden since the Lyft app uses a masked phone number.
  • Contact Lyft Directly: Ideally, you can get in touch with your driver, but in the scenario that you can’t you can try contacting Lyft directly.
    • Online Contact Form: Use this form to reach out to them.
    • Twitter: Try to reach them via @asklyft – it helps if you get everyone you know to retweet and share it.
  • Return Fee: Keep in mind that you will be charged a $15 return fee for the return of a lost item. That full amount goes to the driver for their time and gas.

File a Police Report: If you still have no luck, it’s a good idea to contact local authorities and file a police report. That way if your items pop up in a pawn shop, they get flagged (if there’s a serial number). It also helps if you have other insurance and need to make claims.

What do you think? Did the driver take it or did a passenger take it? Have you ever lost anything on Lyft or Uber?
What was your experience in trying to get in back? Have you found something in a Lyft or Uber and did you give it to the driver?

Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. John Carraher

    I just had my nice camera go missing with Lyft in Miami. I left it in the car, but realized it as she drove away. I could not flag her down. I hit the lost item button in the app immediately and Lyft replied and said they would contact the driver. Then, they replied and said the driver is not responding, perhaps because she didn’t speak English. I tried calling and it went to voicemail and I left a message. Two hours later, Lyft replied and said the driver knew nothing about my camera. I left it, in the bag with two lenses in the front seat. That was it, the camera is gone. They said file a police report if I wanted to, but Lyft was done trying to find it. It’s crap. They can tell the driver through the app where to go for a pickup, but can’t turn them around to the last dropoff? Luisana picked her up a camera. I think there ought to be a video camera in every car with a card turned into Uber or Lyft every day.

    1. Esther JuLee

      Oh no!! So unbelievable this has happened to multiple people. I agree – they should have cameras!

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